Monday, July 15, 2013

6 Tips for Summer Snacking

I wanted to share some of the tips I discussed with Jeremy Dodge on Saskatoon's CTV Morning Live this morning.  We discussed summer snacking since school is out and perhaps structure is gone.  Your children may be used to recess snacks and a packed lunch at noon, but now they're home and could end up nibbling all day and consuming potentially unnecessary calories.  Create a routine so that they know when snacks and meals will happen. 

Snacking can be done in a healthful way and can help children (and adults) meet their daily requirements.

1. Stock the kitchen with a variety of containers (ziploc bags, skewers, tackle box/craft kits, popsicle molds, etc.), slicers (mandolin, cookie cutters, etc.) and of course, food!

2. Portion out their snacks (and even their lunch) so that they can grab something quickly when they get hungry.  They'll eat whatever is easy, so make that a healthy choice.

3. Involve them in the process (grocery shopping, washing produce, portioning snacks, etc.) to peak their interest and perhaps increase their consumption.  Give them a drawer in the fridge and/or shelf in the pantry for their snacks.

Tackle box snack
4. Choose wisely so that snacks hit on the items your child (or you) tend to be low in (typically this is vegetables, fruit, and calcium containing proteins).  Include a variety of items and aim to have carbohydrate, lean protein, and healthy fats.

5.Hydrate with water instead of sugary beverages.  Fluids should be part of a snack as children may not notice their thirst and if they're outdoors on a hot/humid day and/or very active, hydration is even more important.  Let them choose the water flavour by adding orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices, mint leaves, or frozen berries.

6. Have fun and get creative with snacks such as celery canoes or ziploc butterflies.  Check out my Pinterest board: Fun with Food for more ideas and feel free to share your tips/suggestions.

Whether snacks are for home, camp, or a roadtrip, it can help to give your child a few healthy items to pick from and a fun container to store them.  That also makes your life easier when you're trying to focus on the road and they're hungry.

Happy snacking!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching